Bamboo vs. Jenkins: Difference Between Bamboo and Jenkins [2023]


Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Development (CD) plays a big part in an agile development process. Software testing teams often find themselves in a fix when it comes to selecting the best tools for continuous testing. Both Jenkins and Bamboo are the automation testing tools that are used for continuous integration. This article focuses on the comparison between the two best tools to help you in making an informed decision.

Before diving into the differences between these two tools, you must understand the basics of Bamboo and Jenkins.

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What is Jenkins?

Jenkins is the most popular open-source CI/CD tool used in the agile development field. Jenkins code is written in Java and is most suited for building and testing various software. It makes the developer’s life easy by integrating several stages of the SDLC within itself, such as coding, testing, deploying, staging, and so on.

It supports more than one thousand plugins to allow continuous integration of the software development process. If you want to integrate any specific tool, you only need to install the respective plugin like Maven, HTML Publisher, etc. and you are all set.

Advantages of Jenkins:

  • Open-source and free: Jenkins is an open-source tool, available without any licensing costs, making it accessible to individuals and organizations with budget constraints.
  • Extensive plugin support: Jenkins has a vast ecosystem of plugins that enable customization and integration with various tools, streamlining the automation process.
  • Platform portability: Built with Java, Jenkins is highly portable and can be deployed on multiple platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, and cloud environments like virtual machines or Docker containers.
  • Easy installation: Jenkins has a straightforward installation process, allowing users to quickly set it up and start leveraging its capabilities.

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What is Bamboo?

Developed by Atlassian, Bamboo is also a popular tool that is used for continuous integration. Unlike Jenkins, Bamboo is a licensed tool that allows developers to automatically build, test, integrate, package, and deploy the application. Its easy-to-use user interface offers flexibility to the developer to use several tools that are required during a software development process.

With end-to-end visibility, it allows developers to shift their focus on writing the code rather than worrying about integrating other release software. It is one of the most used user-friendly tools, which comes with a built-in JIRA software integration, deployment project, Bitbucket server integration, and Git branch workflows. It is also available to be used on an operating system like Windows, Linux, etc.

Advantages of Atlassian Bamboo:

  • Automation and reliability: Bamboo automates the build, test, and deployment processes, providing a reliable CI/CD pipeline.
  • Workflow automation: Agile development is supported with automated workflows from code to deployment.
  • Scalability and performance: Bamboo Data Center offers resilience, reliability, and scalability for teams of any size.
  • Integration with Atlassian Suite: Full integration with tools like Bitbucket and Jira Software ensures traceability from feature requests to deployment.
  • Deployment flexibility: Bamboo supports various deployment types, including Docker and AWS CodeDeploy.

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The Faceoff Between Bamboo vs Jenkins

The choice between two equally efficient tools is dependent upon the following major parameters:

1. Ease of Use

Jenkins is not your best choice when it comes down to the user-friendly feature. Its graphical user interface is outdated and difficult to use when you switch between multiple projects. However, it offers several plugins that you can download to improve the look and feel of the user interface and customize the user experience as per your choice.

On the other hand, Bamboo is one of the most easily used tools with a simple graphical user interface. Bamboo offers proper guidance so that you can easily navigate through multiple projects. It also offers a dashboard where developers can download various artifacts.

2. Plugin Ecosystem

Undoubtedly, Jenkins has the upper hand when it comes down to plugin functionality. Jenkins supports more than one thousand plugins to offer integration with several tools such as Maven 2, Git, HTML Publisher, etc.

The plugins available in Jenkin provide the best experience to a developer throughout the software development process. If a developer is not able to find the plugin, then also Jenkin allows you to write the code for the respective plugin and share it with the Jenkin global community.

On the other hand, Bamboo offers only around one hundred plugins, which are available on the Atlassian marketplace. However, it offers several built-in functionalities such as JIRA software integration, deployment project, Bitbucket server integration, and Git branch workflows, etc., which act as the biggest selling point of the Bamboo server.

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3. Hosting Environment

Jenkins runs on both clouds as well as the on-premises hosting environment. Many small to medium size organisations rely solely on the cloud hosting environment, which makes Jenkins a good choice, as it offers convenience and effectiveness to a large number of users. Bamboo was hosted on the cloud platform as well.

But the service was discontinued and later replaced with the other tool, Bitbucket Pipeline, which could not match the Bamboo standard. Currently, Bamboo runs only on an on-premises hosting environment. Undoubtedly, Jenkins wins the battle when you are deciding based on the hosting environment.

4. Installation and Configuration

If you are looking for a tool that comes with an easy installation, Jenkins undoubtedly takes the upper hand. Runs out of the box, Jenkins is a self-contained Java program. You must have Java JDK8 or above installed into your local system before you proceed with the Jenkins installation. Jenkins setup easily runs on operating platforms like Windows, UNIX, Linux, and Macintosh OS X.

On the other hand, Bamboo installation and configuration involves more steps and time-consuming when compared to Jenkins. Java is a prerequisite for Bamboo installation as well. You must create a separate user dedicated to running Bamboo. Then, you must create a home directory. Once you have completed all these steps, only then you can start configuring the Bamboo server as per your business needs.

5. Scalability

Both Bamboo and Jenkins are CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment) tools that can handle large-scale builds and distributed environments. Jenkins, known for its scalability, excels in managing complex and demanding build environments. 

It offers flexibility by allowing the addition and management of multiple build servers, agents, and nodes. In Atlassian bamboo vs Jenkins, Bamboo also provides scalability options but may require additional configuration and setup compared to Jenkins. However, with the proper configuration, Bamboo can effectively handle growing build demands and accommodate the increased workload.

To ensure scalability, evaluate Bamboo and Jenkins based on your project’s requirements and available resources. Consider their features and adaptability to make an informed decision. Choose the tool that best aligns with your scalability needs and fosters efficient software development.

6. Customer Support

Jenkins is an open-source tool that comes with great involvement from global community support. Jenkins has a large community that serves developers when they face issues related to troubleshooting, documentation, etc. It is one of the reasons that put Jenkins at the top of the game.

On the other hand, Bamboo is not an open-source tool. You must purchase a license to use it, which directly affects your budget. It provides technical support only for licensed customers. Bamboo does have a support forum from the Atlassian community. Learn more about best devops tools.

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If cost and support is the deciding factor, then Jenkins certainly wins the war here.

Atlassian Bamboo vs Jenkins: Which CI/CD Tool to Choose?

Jenkins, a widely adopted open-source tool for continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD), has garnered a significant following among users. Conversely, Bamboo, an offering from Atlassian, provides a seamless experience with its integrated functionalities and user-friendly feature While Jenkins is open-source, Bamboo is a commercial tool with a subscription fee.

When comparing Bamboo vs Jenkins, it’s essential to consider factors like project requirements, budget, and timelines. Consider these factors to determine the best CI/CD tool for your project.

Regardless of the chosen tool, it is crucial to test applications on real devices and browsers to identify potential bottlenecks that may impact user experience. Whether you opt for Atlassian Bamboo or Jenkins, integrating with BrowserStack Automate enables testing on over 3000 real device-browser combinations. This ensures improved performance and accuracy by simulating real user conditions.

In addition, one of the differences between Jenkins and Bamboo is that Bamboo has built-in integration with the Atlassian suite, including Jira, Bitbucket, and more, while Jenkins has a wider range of integrations and plugins available in its ecosystem. Both tools have their strengths and can be effective for implementing CI/CD pipelines.

Bamboo vs Jenkins Comparison Snapshot

Factor Jenkins Bamboo
Open-source Yes No
Plugins 1000+ A few
Support Large community A small community, professional support for licensed customers
In-built JIRA integration No Yes
In-built Bitbucket server integration No Yes
In-built deployment projects No Yes
Cost Free Purchase
Upgrade Easy Complex

Also Read: Ansible vs. Jenkins

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As stated throughout this article, both Bamboo and Jenkins hold paramount importance in the DevOps testing process. To decide which is best, one must do a clear evaluation of both the tools from the budget and business requirements perspective. The relevant parameters mentioned in this article will help you in deciding which tool better serves your budget and business needs.

If you’re curious to learn more about software development processes and tools, check out upGrad Executive PG Program full stack developer course that is designed for working professionals.

What is DevOps?

DevOps is the fusion of software engineering (Dev, Development) and IT Operations (Ops). This new practice has been designed to solve the growing pain points of the software lifecycle without losing the high-speed benefits of Agile and Lean software development. In brief, DevOps aims to deliver software faster and more reliably. Indeed, DevOps has been around for quite some time, but it is not limited to just the software industry. You will find DevOps in a wide variety of industries, including Enterprise IT organizations and Finance, Healthcare, Transportation, and Entertainment.

What is the use of Jenkins?

Jenkins is the leading open-source automation server, used to automate jobs for continuous integration, continuous delivery and continuous deployment for all types of projects ranging from small teams to large enterprises. Jenkins is also known as a job orchestrator, build tool, or continuous integration server. It offers hundreds of plugins to support building and testing any project. Jenkins comes with a graphical user interface as well as a command line interface. It also has a rich REST API so that it can be scripted and interacted with through a variety of different technologies.

What is the use of Bamboo in DevOps?

Bamboo is a continuous integration tool used to automate the software development processes. It supports the following automation strategies: Milestone-based Automation: Helps in automating the process of software projects that are performed in multiple releases. Workflow Automation: Enables in automating the software development processes of a sequential nature. Release Promotion: Enables in promoting the software created using Bamboo to a different environment. Release Mapping: Enables in automating the mapping of software releases to various environments. For example, it can map software releases to testing, staging, production etc. Bamboo can be used with above automation strategies to automate the software development lifecycle. For example, it can be used to automate the software development processes, configure software builds, test the software and deploy the software.

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